By Annie Griffith
The Trojan Show Support
TROY — Shelby Mathes, a 15 year-old sophomore at Troy High School, has been battling cancer since June 22 of last year.
Shelby was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is bone cancer.
Shelby received her last chemotherapy treatment on Wednesday at Dayton Children’s, where she has been staying during her recovery. Dayton Children’s Hemoc staff has been with her family throughout her journey.
Shelby has not let the hard chemotherapy sessions get to her by keeping a positive attitude.
“When I’m having a down day, my pet therapy dog, Remy, cheers me up,” Shelby said. “I have also become friends with a younger patient at the hospital who I can always have a good time with.”
The Trojan family of staff and students has recently shown their support for Shelby with a fundraiser where T-shirts were sold and donations were collected.
Some students have been closer to Shelby, giving their support to her as well. Sophomore Gabby Sanders has been one of Shelby’s biggest supporters through out her battle.
“I’ve helped her by trying to keep her thinking positive,” Sanders said. “It was hard to see her sick at first, but I know she can do it and she has. Positivity makes a big difference.”
The support of her friends has helped her keep a positive attitude — but her family has been her biggest source of support. Shelby’s parents, Mike and Dusti Mathes, have been there every step of the way.
“As Shelby’s parents we could not be more proud of the attitude that Shelby has carried throughout this journey,” her parents said. “The positive attitude that she has hung on to, and passed to the other cancer patients as well, shows her strength.”
What most people do not know about cancer is that every day is not bad — there are good days and there are hard days, but they are not all bad, according to Shelby. Shelby explained how fighting cancer has made her stronger, more compassionate, and has given her a more positive outlook on life.
“You need to stay positive. Positivity is key. Don’t sit around feeling bad for yourself, go make someone else’s day,” Shelby said. “Attitude is everything when it comes to fighting cancer.”
Shelby, who has become a symbol of strength to Troy High School staff and students, and the community, said the disease does not define her.
“I would just like everyone to know that cancer is not my whole life, it is just a chapter in it.”
Annie Griffith is a senior at Troy High School and hopes to go to journalism school.